Reblog: Harvest-Time

Here is my latest post for SageWoman Magazine’s blog channel at Witches and Pagans…

Every day at this time of year, either morning or evening, I do some gardening, keeping back the riotous growth that excels in this season. If I didn’t, many plants would simply take over the garden, crowding out some other favourite plants. Though these crowders may be near the end of their cycle, in their death they will still smother those that have great potential, as their time is arriving. It’s a hard time of year to keep on top of things, as the sun is so hot in our south-facing garden, and time is limited to mornings and evenings when we won’t burn to a crisp or keel over from heat exhaustion. Jack in the Green is running riot, uncaring, reaching for the sun, drinking in the rain.

Yet if I want my irises and lilies to survive, I must release them from the choking hold of ground creepers/covers that threatens their existence. I must carefully weed out and try to keep under control those plants whose vigorous growth would otherwise overwhelm others. In this, I feel a kinship to my ancestors, not only my recent ancestors whose work with plants runs in my blood, but also ancestors of this land who depended upon agriculture to survive. Both physically and metaphorically, this is the ideal time to sort the wheat from the chaff.

Even as I hear the tractors and combine harvesters rumbling in the fields on the other side of the street, so too do I look both within and without to see what needs harvesting, and if the harvest has been good. Getting out in the garden brings it all home, showing that if you take on the responsibility of growing things, of nourishing them, then you must do your job well in order for your harvest to be good. Walking out in the fields after supper, running my hands over the tops of the wheat and barley that grow around here, I make my prayers for the harvest to go well, for the people to be nourished and for the land to be treated well. The time nears for when we give back in great gratitude as Lammas, Lughnasadh, Harvest-time arrives…

To read the full article, click HERE.

The Sacred Landscape

Most, if not all Druids, see the land is utterly sacred. Even if there is no belief in deity, the sanctity of nature is still understood in a way that inspires reverence and respect. Each Druid has his or her own landscape that they live in, whether it is wild heathland and moor, or on the edge of a forest, in the heart of suburbia or in the downtown area of a major metropolis. What each Druid can do is find the sacredness of that landscape, and relate it to their own life, their path and their journey. In effect, this is creating a sacred landscape that is also a soul-map, onto which we can identify areas where we can go to help solve a problem, to be inspired, to celebrate the seasonal festivals, to make love under the stars.

Simply getting out there and discovering this landscape is wondrous enough. You may have to do a little research in your area to find wonders such as water flows that may be hidden underground, beneath city streets or where they surface in beautiful springs out in the countryside. See if there are any tumuli in the area. Look into ley lines, or street names. You may look into the history and geology of a place, to become even more acquainted with it. Once the knowledge is gained, the experience brings an intimacy that can provide a constant flow of awen into our lives.

Find these sacred spots in your landscape. You may identify them with the chakras of the human body, or Celtic myth. See yourself reflected in the landscape in which you live. Then allow the beauty and inspiration to fill your soul, and give back to this land accordingly.

It is what makes the Druid path so utterly gorgeous and inspiring.